Jun 24, 2024

Generation One artists at the reception (from left) Neil Pan, Jenny Wang, Niel McLaren, Chito Maravilla, Juliana Loh, Shyh-Charng Lo, Evan Leung, Grace L. Cuenca, and Tony Chu. (Not in photo are J.A Tan, Haiping Lee, and Xiaofeng Wu). Photo credit: Jenny R. Maravilla

Social integration is the central theme at this year’s Generation One Art Exhibit by first-generation Asian Canadian artists marking the 21st explorAsian festival, an annual event celebrating national Asian Heritage Month in May.

The exhibit, which opened May 6 at the Vancouver Lipont Art Centre Richmond, B.C., is one of the activities lined up to promote understanding and appreciation of Asian Canadian arts and culture, according to Esmie Gayo McLaren, a member of the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society (VAHMS) advisory board.

 Among the contemporary works showcased at the art centre are those of Canadian Filipino artists J.A. Tan, Niel McLaren, Chito Maravilla, and Grace L. Cuenca.

In a statement released to media, Patricia Lim of VAHMS said Generation One was created in 2009 as a signature program of the VAHMS festival to feature both established and emerging local artists, who are first-generation Asian Canadians. The exhibit also provides a forum for exploring new expressions of Canadian identity. This year, she said focus was on issues of social integration being faced by Asian Canadians of various generations.

“First-generation Asian Canadians face unique integration challenges related to language, adaptation, employment and housing issues, just to name a few,” said Candie Tanaka, chair of the VAHMS Generation One Committee. “This year’s exhibition explores these issues in the context of how this synthesis might mean different things to different people, and promotes cross-generational dialogue about the subject.”

The free family-friendly collection will be open for viewing from May 1 to June 4, 2017, at the brand-new Vancouver Lipont Art Centre. The display is curated by a committee of experienced art professionals. Lim said the works are available for sale, and proceeds will support artists and the new art centre.

Mary Ann Mandap

Mary Ann Reyes-Mandap has over three decades of experience in journalism, public relations and corporate communications work, and was a staff member and writer for Mr. & Ms. Magazine, Malaya, and Free Press in the Philippines. While living in San Francisco in 2003-2007, she worked as Associate Editor of Philippine News, the oldest and most widely circulated Filipino newspaper in the United States, and as Editor of the Filipino Insider Magazine. In Vancouver, she is associate editor of Dahong Pilipino and had worked as community news editor of Philippine Canadian Inquirer.

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